If you are going to warm up with one drink this winter make it comforting Spiked Mulled Apple Cider full of warm spices and a hint of orange.
I’m officially deeming it hot beverage season. The words winter weather warnings and polar vortex have come out of my mouth too many times to mention and it’s not even technically winter yet.
It’s not right I tell you, not right! I’m so not ready for another winter like last year. Between the snow and the extreme cold I felt like I squirreled away inside my apartment for 4 months only to emerge to leave for work.
This year I’m prepared, not by bundling up with warmer clothes or even a new winter jacket. No I’m prepared with some warming beverages to heat me up even when the wind chill is bringing temperatures down to below zero.
I used to never be a fan of hot beverages except tea and hot chocolate but at some point last year during the deep freeze I gave in and ordered a hot cider at one of the local bars in my neighborhood.
Well I can say that clearly I was missing out for a long time because it completely hit the spot when you don’t want one of the drinks listed above.
This cider is sweet but not overly so with most of it coming from those ripe apples that were pressed to make the cider. Warm spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove simmer away to make your home smell amazing. This really is the perfect holiday or winter drink. I suggest keeping it unspiked until you pour yourself a glass, that way the under 21 crowd can enjoy a taste for themselves as well.
As for the spiking? I’m leaving it up to you, my preference is bourbon but an apple brandy would rev up the apple flavor and spiced rum would compliment your mulling spices. What’s your preference?
- 12 ounces local apple cider
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 4 strips orange zest
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole star anise
- 1/2 teaspoon whole clove
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon grated cardamom
- 3 ounces liquor of choice: Bourbon, Apple Brandy or Spiced Rum
- In a small saucepan over medium heat combine everything but the liquor and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and let simmer over a low flame for 20-25 minutes.
- Pour the cider into a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl to filter out the spices and zest and divide between two mugs.
- Stir in 1 1/2 ounces of your liquor of choice in each of the mugs.
- Serve with a garnish of cinnamon stick and orange slice.
- Variations: If you want mull an entire half gallon of cider, place it in a large saucepan with 1/2 cup brown sugar, strips of zest from 2 oranges, 6 cinnamon sticks, 3 star anise, 2 teaspoon whole clove, 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg and 1 teaspoon grated cardamom. You could leave it to stay warm in your slow cooker over the course of the evening and just add the 1 1/2 ounces of liquor to each 6 ounce serving of cider.
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Love Mulled Apple Cider this time of year. With the chilly temps and rain this week, I so want this right now!
Yeah, I’m with you, I do not want a repeat of last year. I’m a huge fan of hot cider, so I know I would love this – spiked, please!
Such a perfect beverage for this time of year! (And yes – don’t say the words ‘polar vortex’…)
I’m not a fan of hot beverages either but all the spices in this would win me over!
I’m SO not looking forward to this long winter that’s already begun, either. I need to curl up with some of this cider while I hibernate for the next 5 months! 🙂
Oh, now this is my kind of cider! Looks delish!
Oh, I know what you mean. Warm drinks are so good and this one really sounds great!
There’s something about a hot cup of mulled cider that’s so comforting. It makes me wan to curl up in front of a fire under a blanket.
Living in the Great White North, I feel ya. I’ve gotta say that I love the way that you warm up! I’ll take a hot cider (with apple brandy) over another scarf any day.
I’ve never made my own mulled cider before. I’ve only used the packets (blechhh) but you’ve inspired me to try my own now!
I am totally ok with calling this hot beverage season (even though it is 70 today and will be 30 tomorrow. What the heck?!). I’d love a giant glass of this!
I bet this smells just as wonderful as it tastes!
I’m not ready for winter either. It seems like it came so suddenly!! I’m all about apple cider lately and this looks great. I always love a nice warm drink!
i Can cozy up to this!! Love apple cider!
I bet the kitchen smells amazing when this is cooking. Sounds so comforting!
This is perfect – especially for this nasty cold snowy stuff that is set to blanket Philly this week!
Mmmm…hot mulled apple cider is the best! There’s something so wonderfully festive ‘n Christmas-y about it. I especially love buying a cup and feeling its warmth through my gloves as I walk around on a cold, wintery day. It probably wouldn’t do enough to keep you warm during the polar vortex though – thankfully I don’t have to deal with that in Vancouver! Sorry to rub it in 😉